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Hidden Garden Sprinklers 

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Hidden Garden Sprinklers 

Written By: Jim Clack 


Shovel (1) 

Tape measure (1) 

Utility knifed) 


Oscillating sprinkler for each rectangular 
area to be watered (1) 
Plastic toolbox to act as a basin for each 
sprinkler. (1) 

Paver to cover each sprinkler basin. (1) 
• Y-hose adapter with separate shutoff 
valves. (1) 

Enouqh hose and adapters to reach to all 
of the sprinklers. (1) 


In our prior house I patiently installed dozens of popup sprinkler heads all over my garden at 
a cost of a few hundred dollars and several days of work. When my wife and I moved into 
our new house I decided to take a more calculated (lazy) approach. I found a way to cut the 
cost in half, make the job easier, and keep it all hidden from view. Here's the scoop. 

My garden is a mix of rectangular areas and it takes a number of partial-sweep sprinkler 
heads to get full coverage, whereas a single oscillating sprinkler can be adjusted to cover 
the entire rectangle. But I didn't want to leave these green-and-yellow sprinkler monstrosities 
scattered around our beautiful garden all of the time. So I came up with a plan: I put the 
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Hidden Garden Sprinklers 

sprinklers underneath the walkway. Now when I want to water the garden I just flip over a 
few pavers and the turn on the sprinkler system at the hose bib. It's easy, cheap, and totally 
out-of-sight when not in use. 

Each subterranean unit is built from the base of a plastic toolbox you can buy at your local 
building supply store for less than ten dollars. Decide where you want to place the 
sprinklers, generally under your garden walkway, but some can be in locations where you 
want to add a lone paver as a steppingstone. Each sprinkler can cover a rectangular area 
that is over 50 feet long and 50 feet wide. 

Step 1 — Hidden Garden Sprinklers 

• Ensure that the toolbox you buy is 
large enough to accommodate the 
base of the sprinkler. In my case I 
found that a Vigoro variable-width 
oscillating sprinkler ($19.99) fit 
nicely into a Home Depot Homer 
Box. ($8.97) 

• Cut each toolbox so that it is one 
half of an inch deeper than the 
height of the sprinkler. In my case I 
used a sprinkler that was three- 
and-a-half inches high, so I made a 
basin that was four inches deep. 

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Hidden Garden Sprinklers 

Step 2 




• Cut an opening on one end of the 
basin (toolbox) to allow for the 
hose to be connected to the 
sprinkler. If your sprinkler is similar 
to mine then you can use the 
provided template. 

• Also remember to drill some holes 
in the bottom of the basin so that it 
doesn't fill up with water when in 

Step 3 

• Wherever you want to locate a 
sprinkler in your garden, dig a hole 
that is large enough to accept the 
basin. In my case this required a 
rectangular hole just under 18" 
long, 9" wide, and 4" deep. 

• Also dig a four inch deep trench, 
two inches wide, from the area of 
the hose bib to each of these 
locations in which to route a hose. 

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Hidden Garden Sprinklers 

Step 4 

• Press a plastic basin into each pit, 
being careful to orient it so that the 
hose opening is aligned with the 
trench for the hose. The top edge 
of the basin should project just 
slightly above ground level in order 
to prevent gravel and mulch from 
falling in. Pack dirt in around it. 

• Set a sprinkler into each pit with 
the hose coupling facing the trench. 

Step 5 

• Attach the Y-hose adapter to your 
hose bib and route hoses to each 
of the sprinkler pits. The existing 
hose can be connected to one side 
of the Y-adapter and the new hose 
that feeds the sprinklers can be 
connected to the other side. 

• Bury the hoses, packing the dirt 
down firmly so that the hoses don't 
work their way up. Depending upon 
the number of sprinklers you may 
have any number of hoses and 
adapters. Each hose should 
terminate in a pit -just barely 
reaching it. Then twist the 
sprinkler's coupling onto the hose 

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Hidden Garden Sprinklers 
Step 6 

• Cut pavers to fit over each pit. I 
used 18x18 pavers that I had cut to 
18x10. Rubber pavers are easy to 
cut but they won't support the 
weight of anyone standing on them. 
Concrete pavers can be cut with a 
brick set or masonry saw. Place a 
paver on top of each pit. 

This turns out to be cheaper and easier than using popup sprinklers and it leaves your garden 
uncluttered as well. 

This document was last generated on 201 2-1 1 -03 05:1 7:09 AM. 

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